Republicans in the state legislature are proposing a series of policy changes they argue will lessen the burden of regulations on Iowa businesses.
Republicans in the House and Senate held public hearings in 11 cities this past winter, fielding complaints from over a thousand Iowans. Representative Dawn Pettengill, a Republican from Mount Auburn, says she learned Iowa businesses are buried with paperwork.
“Things that don’t make sense, places where the government is in the way of entrepreneurs and citizens — that’s what we went out to find,” Pettengill says, “and we found it.”
The Republicans today proposed requiring state agencies to create a searchable computer database of state rules and regulations, plus they’d like to launch a new study of the effects state and federal regulations have on Iowa businesses. Senator Merlin Bartz, a Republican from Grafton, says Democrats have “mummified” their own effort to reduce red tape.
“If we are going to get to the point that the governor’s asked us to get to with the creation of 200,000 jobs in the state, we certainly need to remove barriers that are stymieing or killing those job creation opportunities,” Bartz says. “…That’s why this is such an important issue.”
Republican legislators also want to pass a law that would forbid any state agency from creating a rule or regulation that is tougher than federal standards, unless the legislature gives that agency authority to do so. Republicans in the state legislature say as Republicans in congress and the party’s presidential candidates press the issue of regulatory reform, it will create more pressure at the state level to take the kind of actions they propose.
Bartz and Pettengill made their comments during a news conference at the statehouse.